60 Miles An Hour

Behind Closed Doors < 60 Miles An Hour > Sabotage

Driving well within the posted speed limits, our newly minted rock gods keep it real and deliver a rollicking tune. 60 Miles An Hour brought a grin to my face in 2001, and to this day it’s one of only a handful of Get Ready tracks that still gets two thumbs up.

For me it’s this track that seemed to open the taps on what New Order was offering at the turn of the millennium; swagger, energetic indie-rock, de-emphasised (but not wholly devoid of) electronics, with themes that veer between carefree & caution – but in a simpler songwriting framework that still capitalised on their many years of studio experience.

60 Miles An Hour is arrow-straight with its verse, chorus, verse, chorus, break, chorus structure, but – unlike several tunes on Republic, Get Ready & Waiting For The Siren’s Call, where either the verse was dodgy and saved by the chorus, or vice versa (or both) – there is good value all ’round here. The album version of 60MPH has a nice sonic lead-in with filtered synth tones, before kicking right into the main guitar-driven stomp; solidly backed with Morris’s firm drum performance. The breadth and depth in Steve Osborne’s production is excellent; with certain details giving the guitars room to shine through, including the deep synth tone that underpins the first verse, the subtle descending motif that (I think) Hooky adds (sounding almost like a chime) to the second verse, and most of all the storming instrumental break that really cuts through with keyboards and crashing cymbals, and leads into the final chorus with a phased and distorted guitar lead. Great stuff! Bernard gives it his all: standing by our side and being there when we want him to, etc… (thanks mate); although one would politely decline his offer – not doubting his sailing skills – to cross some stormy sea to worship pagan idols.

The Supermen Lovers Remix is not one of my favourites to be honest. Quirky and different to be sure, but just too twee for me; large parts of the mix sounding like the background music to a mid-’80s Atari game, cut (somewhat abruptly) into a decent disco funk that unfortunately builds up and falls away too quickly. David Khane’s mix/es – technically unreleased save for an appearance on an obscure US promo CD – are quite interesting, taking a different route with the main backbone rock of the track, stripping back the original’s layered mix with a new heavier core program and a fuzzy & distorted edge, and some additional sonic flavours. I suspect we will see one of these again on a deluxe edition at some stage.

Not sure I get the video clip, particularly in the way the music frequently drops into the background for the sake of the on-screen fake-bear-wielding-a-NewOrder-mixtape-drives-himself -and-hitchhiker-into-a-tree silliness, but I suppose it’s an example of the stupid fun mentioned recently.

Get Ready is 2 for 2 so far, let’s see where it goes from here…

Rating: xxxxo

Available on: Get Ready

 

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9 thoughts on “60 Miles An Hour

  1. I must say, I really like Get Ready as a whole, and I like 60 Miles an Hour a lot. Outside of one awful [cough] rocktheshack [cough] song, I consider Get Ready right up there with Brotherhood.

    After the lack of the Hooky bass in Republic, my biggest concern was that Get Ready would be more of the same. Crystal and 60 MPH restored my faith!

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  2. Not one of my favourites of the album i must confess. Not a huge fan of Barney’s shouty style singing, which he seems to develop on this album. Do like the instrumental breakdown however and nice Hooky bass.

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  3. Not a fan of 60mph, definitely one of the songs I like the least on Get Ready, although it’s not as bad as Slow Jam or Rock the Shack or Player in the League. 60mph’s music may be good, but the to my ears cheesy lyrics always prevented me from paying much attention to it. Seriously, “we’re driving 60mph!”, sung by Barney as if it were some kind of performance… It’s just a very average speed, isn’t it?

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  4. I find this song a little bit average. I quite like it, but it just doesn’t set my soul alight. It’s a 3 / 3.5 out of 5 for me.

    I find it a little bland and I thought it was a relatively poor choice for a single. ‘Someone Like You’ should’ve been a ‘proper’ single instead (rather than a club promo only), IMHO.

    The thing that strikes me most about this album (especially this track) is Sumner revisiting a specific theme; namely cars and travelling to places:

    “When I saw you in my rear view, you could have stopped me in my tracks”
    “You could take me to an island. Ride across a stormy sea”
    “…You could drive down in your car. Why don’t we both take a ride and turn that key? We’ll drive at sixty miles an hour” – 6)mph

    “Don’t wanna own a key, don’t wanna wash my car” – Turn My Way

    “Well I’ve been driving in the wrong gear. It’s been a long and lonely ride” – Primitive Notion

    “The sea was very rough; It made me feel sick” – Slow Jam

    “I walked one hundred thousand miles, Ignore the judges ’til my trial” – Rock The Shack

    “The ship has landed. It’s time to run. The crew are stranded” – Someone Like You

    “Open hearts, empty spaces. Dusty roads to distant places” – Run Wild

    “There is a place somewhere, that I could call a home. I’d live without a care. I’d never be alone. One day I will get there…” – Behind Closed Doors

    “I wish I could cross this great divide. Be with you there on the other side. Together we’ll scale this mountain high. You never could run this river dry”
    “You put me to the test. This could be our getaway. You keep me feeling fresh. We’re driving down that highway” – Sabotage

    That’s 9 out of a possible 12 tracks from the album sessions (inc. B-sides) that have similar motifs. Only Crystal, Vicious Streak and Close Range escape this trend.

    The above could be deliberate; that the band had a specific message or theme to convey. Getting away from it all, escaping the drudgery of daily life etc.

    Or, perhaps more likely, Bernard was just thinking about that new sports-car that he could buy with all the extra money. Signing to a ‘major’ and closing the Haçienda sure has its advantages. 🙂

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  5. Perhaps the lyrics arent Barney’s worst….. but they come damn close. (I save that title for Jetstream.) It just all sounds so DUMB to me. I like it better when his lyrics are so confusing that you hear something different each time, or it unravels over many listens. This is just straight forward Dumb. I agree about the bass, though…it’s real good.

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  6. 60mph? FFS! In the 80s New order would have been driving 80 or 90 miles per hour.

    Even Ed Sheeran drives 90mph down those country roads.

    The title seems to sum up the song. It’s nice but doesn’t get me racing.

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